Southampton’s Forster (5.1) is our choice for keeper this week. The Saints have conceded just a single goal in 3 games at St Mary’s, and with 2 consecutive home games coming up against Sunderland and Stoke, investing in their defense seems like a good idea.
Alternatives: Swansea’s Fabianski (5.1) is a decent alternative for their away trip to Stoke City. Another option to consider is West Ham’s Adrian (5.0), who will travel to goal shy Burnley (who have scored 66% of their total goals in the previous gameweek only)
With 2 consecutive clean sheets in their previous matches, Chelsea’s Ivanovic (7.3) is a sure shot selection in our back line. Though he may be a tad bit expensive, his price is totally justified by his tendency to make those marauding runs along the right flank and have a pop at goal now and then. Everton’s Baines (7.0) has proven to be a similar threat from the left flank. He has already racked up 3 assists so far, and if not for a brilliant save from De Gea last week, would have also added a goal to his tally.
Southampton and Swansea have decent enough fixtures to consider doubling up on their defence this week. Clyne (5.3) and Williams (5.1) are the best options from these two.
Liverpool have been anything but solid in defence, keeping just a single clean sheet till now. But an away trip to QPR might just be their chance to pull themselves together and try to get a shut out. Moreno (5.6) has dropped considerably in price, and seeing their fixture list, could be an option to hold onto for the coming weeks too.
Alternatives: Now we know, fitting both Ivanovic and Baines in your budget is no easy task. So what we would suggest is pairing one of them with either of the cheaper alternative duo of Azpilicueta (6.0) and Jagielka (5.4). Another decent alternative is West Ham’s Reid (5.0), who face an away trip to Burnley this week.
Manchester United’s Di Maria (10.1) has been quick to establish himself as an absolute essential in our fantasy teams. He has already picked up double figure returns in 3 out of his past 4 games (courtesy of 3 goals and 3 assists), and with an away trip to West Brom this week, will be looking to further add to his tally. Swansea’s Sigurdsson (7.8) has also been in good form recently, with 2 assists in his previous game, and scoring 2 while on international duty for Iceland.
West Ham’s Downing (5.6) who got a mention in our Alternatives last week, chipped in with an important assist (and 2 bonus points) for the Hammers in their match against the Rangers. He has been a bit of a revelation in his new role in the hole, and has already picked up 3 assists so far. Barring a visit from City next week, West Ham have easy fixtures on the horizon, and Downing could be the perfect budget friendly midfielder to have on your team.
The remaining 2 midfield slots have been filled by Manchester City’s Silva (9.1) and Arsenal’s Sanchez (10.3). Now we know both of them haven’t quite managed to sustain the form that is expected of them so far. But both teams will be heavily relying on them to build up play from the midfield, and we feel they will shine this week.
Alternatives: Southampton’s Tadic (7.5) and Liverpool’s Lallana (8.4) are both good alternative options to consider this week. Lallana scored his first Premier League goal for the Reds last week, and will be on our watch list for the coming weeks, if he could replicate his sensational form with the Saints from last season.
Chelsea’s Costa (11.2) is another player who has earned himself the tag of “Essential” this season. 9 goals in 7 games, and he doesn’t look like hes going to be slowing down anytime soon. Crystal Palace will have a tough time on their hands, trying to keep the clinical striker at bay. Another striker in red hot form is Southampton’s Pelle (7.9), who has scored 4 and assisted 1 in his previous 5 games. Though he drew a blank last week, he should be back to his scoring ways against Sunderland this week.
Our final striker will come as bit of a surprise to some. Liverpool’s Sturridge (11.2), will be returning after a lengthy lay off from injury. And what better opportunity to return with a bang, than against the defensively shabby QPR. We know it would be safer to go with the on form Aguero or Sakho in his place, but then what fun is fantasy football if not for a little risk now and then.
NOTE: What started off as a few rumours trickling in on Friday evening, has finally been confirmed officially by the clubs. Liverpool and Chelsea have both released statements confirming Sturridge and Costa will be sidelined this week through injury. Bummer! That’s two of our attacking trio out of action. That ofcourse means we will be giving these slots to our previous Alternative suggestions: Aguero (12.3) and Sakho (5.6).
Alternatives: Manchester United’s Falcao (10.9) is a player who has silently crept up on the radar, having picked up 2 assists and a goal in his previous 3 outings. What astonishes us most is that in spite of his 17 point haul (over the past 3 Gameweeks), he has actually dropped in price by 0.1. A good option to consider if you don’t have United’s mercurial Argentine in your squad. Another 2 names popping up on our watchlist are Newcastle’s Cisse (5.9) and Villa’s returning beast Benteke (7.9). Both are decently priced, and could get a place in our squads in the coming weeks, if not immediately.